Chase St. John is tormented by an unspeakable accident, the death of a woman at his own hands. Unable to live with himself and unable to face his family with the truth of what he's done Chase decides to disappear with no word to his family about where he's going. While leaving London he's accosted and left for dead alongside the road.
On her way to the market to deliver sheep Harriet Ward and her sisters come across Chase's horse, minus its rider, alongside the road. After hearing a gunshot a search of the area turns up a mysterious stranger in need of help. He seems not to know who he is, or so Harriet believes when she finds him disoriented and confused. Too bad for him, perfect for them! He doesn't remember who he is, she needs him to be her fiancé, the fiancé she made up to keep the bank at bay, from foreclosing on their home. And it doesn't hurt that he fits her description of her imaginary Captain John Frakenham. But does he really have amnesia? Or is Chase just playing along so he can enjoy the lovely Miss Ward’s charms and to come to terms with what he's done and how he can live with it.
How to Treat a Lady is a delight! The heroine, Harriet Ward, is anything but cultured or wealthy. In fact she's the exact opposite. She's down to earth, hard working, and feisty. And she comes from a life that Chase St. John knows nothing about. He's been given everything his whole life while she takes it upon herself to be the responsible one of her family, the one who doesn't have time for dreams. But her dream has just dropped in her lap and watching her try to keep Chase St. John at bay, when he believes he's her fiancé and entitled to some liberties, is funny and entertaining. Harriet’s sisters and brothers are characters you'll laugh at and grow attached to. They all have something endearing about them, and of course you'll get more than a few laughs by their antics. In fact, you'll be rolling when Chase gets his first dose of sheering sheep. There's more than one priceless scene, something you can always count on from Ms. Hawkins. There isn't another author that can blend so beautifully the richness of a historical and the hilarity only she can deliver and still make it work. Ms. Hawkins is in a league of her own and as witty as ever. Don't miss the third book in the St. John Series. It's another gem and a definite keeper.
Barb Hoeter, November 2003
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